Am I too young for teeth whitening?


ever since i was 13 i have been asking my mom 2 get my teeth whitened by she wouldn’t let me. now i am almost 17 & i work part time after school so she said it’sokay but she still thinks i am still 2 young. this is something i really want and i promise 2 keep up with the touchups and not overbleach bcz i know it will hurt my teeth if i do. i am wondering if there is a min. age for teeth whitening and if so what is that age. also will it be hard 2 find a place that will sell it 2 me or if teenagers might get carded for the bleaching stuff like we do for liquor even tho it’s not alcohol. thanks. leeya

Leeya – It sounds as if you are thinking of purchasing over-the counter whitening kits and doing the treatment yourself. We don’t recommend this at all.

As long as your permanent teeth are fully developed, whitening them should be safe. But there is no way to be certain of the outcome without visiting a dentist. Do you want your teeth whiter to improve your smile, or are there stains in your teeth?

An examination from a dentist will show whether or not whitening them will be helpful or harmful. A dentist will also let you know if you can expect sensitivity in your teeth from the bleaching gel. If sensitivity is expected, he or she will know which gel strength will be best for you. You will also receive customized trays to keep the gel in contact with your teeth and away from your gums, to prevent burning and pain.

You will not be carded, or asked to show identification, if you purchase do-it-yourself bleaching gel. The results may be limited though, and you can’t be certain how your teeth will respond to the gel.

Think about asking your dentist how he or she can make brightening your smile affordable for you.


This post is sponsored by Lowell cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.

My dental implant failed again


I couldn’t be more frustrated that I am now. Last March (2014) I got 3 dental implants. In September of last year I had problems with one of them. The oral surgeon tried to save it but could not so it was extracted. We gave it 6 months and replaced it, but the same implant had to be removed 3 months ago. Now we are playing watch and wait but I am not sure why. Can I just go ahead and ask that the missing tooth be replaced with a dental bridge or should I continue to wait and see if I can get another implant? How long would I normally have to wait before the surgeon can tell if another implant will work? Mark H.

Mark – Your question can only be answered by getting a second opinion from a skilled implant dentist. Do you know why the implant failed? Was the failure due to the implant fixture, improper surgical placement, or some other reason?

An experienced implant dentist will examine your dental records, implant site, diagnostic studies, and medical history to determine the cause of the implant failure and whether or not it can be prevented in the future.

If you have healthy teeth on either side of the missing one, they can be prepared to accommodate a dental bridge. Keep in mind that the teeth that hold the dental bridge will need to be shaved down so that dental crowns can fit over them.

First, find out if there is good probability for you to receive a new, successful dental implant. Weigh the pros and cons before making a final decision on which treatment option you prefer.


This post is sponsored by Lowell dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.